Wisdom is defined as the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight. It is the ability to have a sense of proportion and to see the “bigger picture” and requires a considerable amount of tolerance and introspection.
Having knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight does not however automatically confer wisdom, as one has to be able to actually transmute these qualities into action. Which, honestly, is a very hard thing to do on a daily basis! At least for me anyway.
The reality of human experience being that some days feel more like a fantastic crapshoot of managing challenges, emotions, hormones and triggers from a place of habit and instinct rather than a place of wisdom.
How often do we consider our triggers anyway? Those little moments when we could apply our accumulated understandings and experience, but instead all good intentions fly out the window as we REACT from an emotional place rather than ACT from a place of wisdom. These moments are the place that White Pine speaks to me.
This morning, despite knowing that I have been through and reflected upon the same experience countless times, I was completely triggered by the whole “get ready for school on time” circus. You know that “ come on”, “hurry up”, “what do you mean you haven’t brushed your teeth yet” commotion that quickly spirals into belligerent defiance and results in me tearing my hair out that we still aren’t able to handle our mornings with ease and flow...even after many years of practice and experience!
Why is it that when faced with a challenging situation, all wisdom seems to evaporate, and raw emotion steps in? How can we transmute past experience into present action?
My belief is that there is actually great wisdom stored in the experiences that do trigger us.
Wandering in the woods after my stressful start to the day I find my thoughts replaying the morning's events and how I could have handled it differently.
White Pine always supports deep levels of introspection for me. She encourages me to observe myself as a player, a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul.
When I am able to disconnect from all the challenges of physical reality, even if just for a little while, I am able to connect with the bigger picture and see myself from an observer’s perspective with a deeper sense of calm and understanding and compassion for why I reacted the way I did.
I lean up against the trunk of my favorite White Pine tree. The one I always go to in times such as these, and the frustration and tears begin to flow. I feel the wisdom in the emotions and I am reminded once again that my reaction was rooted in fear.
FEAR that others will think I am a bad parent unable to get my kids to school on time, groomed and with homework completed. FEAR that my (not so small kids) may face merciless middle-school teasing or worse if their hair is a mess, or if they are disorganised and unprepared. FEAR that they will be unsuccessful in life if they can’t handle a simple morning routine. FEAR of failure. FEAR of lack of control over this situation...
There that feels better!! Who the hell cares what other people think? Especially when we create so much pain for ourselves, and those we love, trying to contort into physically impossible beings of human perfection. Naming the fears I am able to see them within the context of the grand scheme of life. As if I am standing as the very top of the enormous Pine looking down at myself, I am able to finally give them some perspective.
Wisdom therefore is perhaps the ability to see the big picture in the moment. If we are the infinite spiritual beings that I know in my heart that we are, if we are indeed all little parts of the whole that is Goddess or Spirit or whatever you wish to call it, then this morning’s events were minor blips in my current journey of self-discovery.
I do not have a soul. I HAVE a body. I AM a soul having a seemingly real human experience, complete with all it’s ups and downs, limitations and liabilities.
White Pine says that all of our earthly experiences are perfect opportunities for us to remember who we truly are. Each of us a part, a MEMBER, of the whole of all that is, of Spirit. Re-MEMBERing is the process of bringing into our conscious awareness our personal connection and association with the whole through all that is seen, felt, known and experienced in this lifetime.
White Pine shows me the exquisite beauty and perfection of it all. White Pine helps me to remember. And my children are helping me to remember in their own beautifully infuriating way too.
Returning from my walk I notice an old picture book has been left on the dining table. Of all the books in the shelf to grab to support their last minute homework assignments at breakfast, Old Turtle (by Douglas Wood) was hastily selected. Such sweet synchronicity. A beautiful story of remembering—of people waking up and starting to see Spirit in one another and in the beauty and perfection of all the beings of the Earth—plant, animal and mineral, seen and unseen.
And I can feel all the love and magic surrounding and supporting me in this moment.
Deep sigh. Like a loving parent, White Pine holds me in her embrace, so that I feel safe, grounded and present, and this morning’s shenanigans begin to dissolve into a distant memory, my worries and fears releasing to be absorbed and composted by the beautiful Earth.
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